POC chief: IOC will allow PH in qualifiers even if suspended
OLYMPICS

POC chief: IOC will allow PH in qualifiers even if suspended

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:20 AM February 04, 2024

Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino assured the national sports associations (NSAs) that their athletes can still book spots in the coming Paris Olympics even with the threat of suspension hanging over the country.

“I’ve discussed this with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC will still allow us to play in the qualification tournaments [even in the event of a suspension] but we cannot represent the flag,’’ said Tolentino.

The POC chief announced during a recent general assembly of the local Olympic body that the country faces a potential ban from the Summer Games slated July 26 to Aug. 11, but said he hopes things can be resolved within the next 10 days.

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READ: PH faces flag ban in Paris Oympics with Wada warning

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) warned the Philippines of the suspension for its noncompliance of the Wada Code if the country doesn’t adhere to the body’s requirements by Feb. 13.

Four athletes—pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxer Eumir Marcial and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan—have already secured spots in Paris while several more are anticipated to join them before the qualification ends a month before the Games.

According to Tolentino, Filipino athletes from athletics, swimming, taekwondo, cycling, rowing, shooting, wrestling, judo, gymnastics, weightlifting and boxing are still in the hunt for Olympics berths.

READ: Threatened with ban, PSC vows to comply with Wada code

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has been tasked to address the outstanding non-conformities identified in the Wada Code Compliance Questionnaire.

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There are four requirements that should be satisfied by the PSC—the submission of the NSAs annual plans, registered testing pool of athletes from the NSAs, resolving the open case of a Filipino boxer who yielded a positive result in 2016 and the country’s membership in blood-testing centers accredited by Wada.

“We wish to reassure the public that these possible sanctions are avoidable. We are fully engaged in a constructive dialogue with Wada, working collectively to address any remaining concerns and to ensure that our national athletes can continue to compete on the global stage with honor and dignity,’’ said the PSC in a statement.

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TAGS: Abraham Bambol Tolentino, Paris Olympics

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